It was the summer of 1984; I was a sweet young thing still in college in Machias, Maine, (go to the end of nowhere and turn left). I met a handsome stranger who breezed in from Florida to spend the summer with friends. He was blond and tanned from hours of surfing in the Florida sun.
A surfer on the coast of Maine is an unusual find. Any of you who have jumped into the ocean off the coast of Maine know why. The water is really freaking cold. Plus there’s the whole jagged rock thing.
Anyway, the stranger fell in with our group of friends bringing an exotic breath of air from far off places. One sweet, starry, summer night with the peepers and crickets providing accompaniment, the stranger initiated me into the hidden pleasures of …
Being a Parrothead
I had you going there for a minute didn’t I? “So what in the world is a Parrothead?” I can hear some of you asking. A Parrothead is a follower of the great bard, Jimmy Buffett. He of Margaritaville fame. Fins to the left, fins to the right, white sport coat and a pink crustacean, son of a son of a sailor. And of course, a few songs I can’t sing in polite company. But enough about me, let’s talk about Jimmy.
Many know Jimmy Buffett as a partying troubadour, but look behind the loud shirts and the flip flops and you’ll see something else: a very, very smart businessman. Jimmy is the head of a sundrenched, toes-in-the-sand empire. To illustrate, visit his official website margaritaville.com. You’ll find a paradise for Parrotheads. Jimmy understands the value of a brand.
Not only is Jimmy a singer/songwriter, he’s also an author and a merchandiser. Just slip into your Jimmy Buffett T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. Sit back in your Jimmy Buffett Adirondack chair. Hit the play button on your Jimmy Buffett CD player. Reach into your Jimmy Buffett Cooler and pull out a Jimmy Buffet Landshark Lager. Hey, I couldn’t even make this stuff up if I tried!
How about a Jimmy Buffett golf club bag, golf club covers, golf balls, and spiffy little palm tree golf tees? Got that, too.
Are you more into eating than golfing? Good news, Jimmy’s got a food line, too. Available at Costco and BJ’s. Or how about a Margaritaville cat collar? Or a T-shirt for your Chihuahua?
I can only surmise that some business consultant must have locked himself in a room with Jimmy and delivered the atomic wedgie of all atomic wedgies to convince a lifetime, chronic nonconformist to go commercial. Either that or being a troubadour just doesn’t pay like it used to. I mean, a troubadour’s kids have to eat and someday there’ll be the Home for Aged Troubadours to contend with.
Now, I am in no way advocating drunken revelries (hey, even Jimmy will tell you it gets old real quick), and I’m certainly not encouraging anyone to sell out to “The Man,” however, there is a very important business and cash flow lesson to take away from all this.
Jimmy Buffett took a signature song, Margaritaville, and turned it into an empire. He took a loyal band of followers and turned them into Parrotheads. The Margaritaville brand has tremendous power and appeal to Parrotheads. He’s taken this troubadour gig and turned it into a business that makes money for him when he’s sitting on the beach. That’s pretty darned smart for a guy who never outgrew his aspiration to be a pirate when he grew up. Perhaps he’s discovered a modern day Pirate’s Dream.
The lesson for all business owners is to develop a loyal band of followers and give them more of what they want. It is, indeed, the Treasure Map that leads to riches. Sail on over to www.CashFlowRollerCoaster.com and grab some financial treasures from the Cash Flow Wizard’s treasure chest. Then, it’s yo ho ho and a bottle of cash, Matey.